European culture is as diverse as it is exquisite. Though less centred on continental collaboration, the works of our individual nations remain quintessentially European.
Religion in Europe
The most prominent religions in Europe are Christianity (72% of EU citizens according to Eurobarometer in 2012) and Islam (2%), whilst there are a considerable number of agnostics (16%) and atheists (7%). In 2010, however, Eurobarometer found only 49% of EU and EFTA citizens believed in a god. Despite its modern decline, religion - whether Greco-Roman mythology, Norse paganism or Medieval Abrahamic faiths - has undoubtedly had a profound effect on European culture, heritage and values.
Eurovision is a song contest held every year by the European Broadcasting Union, encompassing countries from all over Europe and a number just outside. The idea is to celebrate the diversity across Europe with acts in different languages, often embracing national traditions. Whether a light-hearted success of colourful international entertainment or a symbol of cultural homogenisation which blends heritage into one cheesy pop act, Eurovision pulls in a huge audience of 180 million viewers each year!
European art spans 32,000 year old Chauvet Cave paintings through to Hirst and Banksy today. It is a beautiful journey: Greek sculpture, Roman mosaics, medieval manuscripts, da Vinci and such Renaissance pieces as Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (above), the Baroque Rembrandt and Rubens, Romantic Delacroix (Liberty Leading the People), the impressionist Monet and van Gogh (The Starry Night, left), Munch's expressionist The Scream and Picasso's cubist Guernica are well-loved by millions.
Peace in Europe
In 2012, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the EU for "over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". This is an achievement not only of the institutions and standard-bearers of the EU, but by all the citizens of Europe. For a continent riddled by centuries of war, that borders are now marked by no more than paving stones and that Europeans can live and laugh together is a testament to Europe not to be forgotten.
Music of Europe
European music is highly diverse. Local regions have traditional music and instruments. Well-loved artists such as Andrea Bocelli and Johnny Hallyday sing in their native languages. Many bands who write in English have ascended to international fame, ABBA, The Beatles, U2 and Pink Floyd to name but a few. Europe is home to some of the best classical: German film composer Hans Zimmer, Austrian legend Mozart, German prodigy Beethoven, and Polish virtuoso pianist Chopin are all world-renowned.